The family of a murdered Aberdeen boy have spoken of their “relief” after his killer lost his bid to get out of jail.
Scott Simpson was only nine years old when he was abducted from a park close to his city home by Steven Leisk in July 1997.
His body was found on the grounds of Aberdeen University five days later. He had been strangled.
Leisk was jailed for 22 years and recently had a parole board meeting to discuss his potential release which was subsequently dismissed.
The 56-year-old’s application for parole was turned down by officials with Scott Simpson’s loved ones learning about the decision in a letter. The document said the next review will be in May 2021.
Scott’s sister Sarah Watt, 39, said the decision from the authorities provided some temporary “relief” but admitted the family are ready to fight Leisk’s bid for freedom again.
She said: “It is a relief just now but we are going to have to go through it again.
“Every 18 months we are going to have to fight and appeal against this man getting out.
“We know it is going to come round soon.
“We knew from July this year that his parole hearing was taking place in November.
“I do not know when they will want us back for the new hearing.”
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Ahead of this month’s hearing Sarah created online petitions and a paper version hoping to show officials on the parole board the strength of feeling against Leisk’s release. They attracted more than 1,000 signatures.
She said Leisk should never be released from prison and believes he remains a threat to kids in Aberdeen.
Sarah said: “He is always going to pose a risk to children. He was out on licence when he murdered Scott. He is scum, evil and there should be a death sentence for him.
“He snuffed out my brother’s life without even thinking about his family.”
Scott was playing in a park near his Powis Circle home when he was lured to his death by Leisk.
His disappearance sparked a huge manhunt and eventually his body was found hidden in bushes in a lane in Old Aberdeen.
Leisk, who had a string of convictions for sex offences dating back to 1984, and had been jailed three times, was living in a flat overlooking the park.
Leisk was jailed for 25 years in November 1997 and the sentence was cut to 20 years in 2002 due to human rights laws.
A parole board spokesman said: “We do not comment on individual cases.”